BMW Board Member Discusses What It’s Been Like to Drive BMW i3 For the Past Year


BMW i3

BMW i3

BMW board member Herbert Diess made some comments at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show in regards to the BMW i3.

BMW i3

BMW i3

As it turns out, Diess has been driving an i3 for the past year.

Diess says he prefers the BEV version of the i3 over REx and here’s him explaining why:

“I personally prefer the car without the range extender.  It depends how you use the car. If I used the car for daily business – going to work, week in, week out – I wouldn’t go for the range extender because it’s additional weight and the car loses a little bit of its agility, its nimbleness.”

Diess adds:

“The customers are really enthusiastic.  They love the experience of driving electrically. The feedback is what they would have expected in an electric car from BMW: direct steering, fast, a narrow turning cycle. It’s the typical BMW concept: The front axle is for steering, and the rear axle is for acceleration. Electric motors should be at the rear axle because there’s so much torque available – the front wheels can’t handle it.”

Finally, Diess says that he’s surprised that more i3 buyers aren’t going for the REx version.  Though it’s not the version he prefers, Diess had expected that the REx would be more popular than it is.  Diess didn’t comment on the take rate for the REx version, so we can’t assume that it’s unpopular, just that Diess expected more buyers to opt for it.

Source: Ward’s Auto

Categories: BMW


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15 Comments on "BMW Board Member Discusses What It’s Been Like to Drive BMW i3 For the Past Year"

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I bet the Rex version will be more popular in the USA when volume sales start over here.

Maybe not with the snafu here in California over HOV lane criteria.

Or with the more limited control over it in the USA models. Really hope they think it over and enable a proper hold charge mode.

Impressive that a BMW board member would be willing to drive for a whole year with a paper bag over his head. I mean, isn’t that the only way someone would be willing to be “seen” in public driving such an ugly $45k car.

yes, but at least it electric

A lot of self confidence….

I’d buy one. I actually like the look.

Ditto. I don’t know what he is talking about. The i3 looks great.

Don’t forget that aesthetics depends on the culture too. The US has a strong preference for sedans, and Europe for hatchbacks.

While the exterior styling is controversial, it’s readily embraced by my European friends, and nearly universally criticized by my American friends.

That’s just an observation, and not a prediction of future sales. I think that the i3 will be supply-constrained for a while, and BMW will move every car they build.

He didnt have to pay for it.

More to the point. He was being paid to drive it.

Let’s see, where am I missing the year long report? I read sales pitch,, thinly disguised as personal report. Then he appears to have missed the latest Board Meeting which disclosed that, “Front axles are now for both steering and for acceleration.”
Obviously, BMW’s new, new concept.

By this time next year we will have some real information that we, not BMW,
can “take to the bank.”

The next shoe to drop is the i3’s EPA rating…….. Good luck with that.

Tom Moloughney has several drivers from the UK, Netherlands and Belgium who are reporting range north of 80 miles, in the winter and apparently without hypermiling. I’m pretty sure the EPA rating will fall within expectations.

Well north of 80 miles in winter without hypermiling is quite nearly impossible in a leaf
Even with no climate control it’s unlikely and I doubt those i3 drivers are freezing their cans off with no heat, huh , all that on 18kwh of usable charge?